The B.S. Plastics Engineering provides the expertise needed to design and manufacture environmentally sustainable products for a better world.

What courses will you take?

A student and professor work in a UMass plastics engineering lab

The UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Department is an internationally recognized leader in plastics engineering education.

You will begin your first year with Introduction to Plastics Engineering (design) and Introduction to Polymer Sustainability (materials). The sophomore year brings courses and hands-on laboratories in basic plastics materials, processing (manufacturing), and the design and automation of processing machinery.  

In the junior year, you will take intermediate level courses and hands-on laboratories in polymer materials, processing and design (including the design and manufacturing of an injection mold). During your senior year, you choose among advanced courses and a student-selected capstone project. 

All students also take the Professional Development Seminar. Most students then participate one or more cooperative work experiences. 

Relevant humanities and social science courses are included with the context of engineering education to create well-rounded graduates with strong communications skills.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathway is:

    Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • The primary objective of the Plastics Engineering Program is to provide a well-rounded engineering education that prepares our graduates to be readily employable professionals for a successful lifetime career. The curriculum aims to foster professionalism, ethics and safety with the highest standard of academic excellence in plastics engineering amidst a caring environment for students of diverse backgrounds with these Program Educational Objectives:
    • Graduates are expected to attain successful careers and be supportive of people with diverse backgrounds.
    • Graduates are expected to pursue lifelong learning that addresses, from concept to commercialization, the design and manufacture of plastic products.
    • Graduates are expected to apply theoretical knowledge and practical skills so that they make positive contributions.
    • Graduates are expected to attain project/team leadership skills, allowing them to pursue advanced degrees in support of technical and managerial careers.
    • Graduates are expected to recognize and adapt to emerging issues in Plastics Engineering such as globalization, environmental concerns, and sustainability.
    Plastics Engineering graduates shall meet the student outcome requirements of ABET Criterion 3 as follows:
    • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
    • an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
    • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
    • an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
    • an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
    • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
    • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Why study plastics engineering at UMass Lowell?

Student next to machinery used during a plastics engineering co-op experience at UMass Lowell

Industry Connections

Constant feedback from industry and alumni enable us to stay on the cutting edge of plastics manufacturing and design technologies. Industry leaders and other friends of the university have supported the program through: 

Plastics engineering professor works with equipment in a UMass Lowell lab

Research Opportunities

Work closely with faculty in our extensive lab facilities on research in areas such as:

  • Advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing, polymer manufacturing, fiber extrusion, compounding, machine instrumentation and control systems and tooling design
  • Sustainable polymer materials, design and processing
  • Biomedical materials and devices
  • Improved material systems, including nanocomposites, functional coatings
  • Formulation and processing of elastomers and thermoset rubber
Two students wearing hard hats in a plastics recycling center at UMass Lowell

Extend your learning with a minor that is specifically designed to pair with plastics engineering, including:

Two UMass Lowell plastics engineering students seen through window of a Blow Molding machine

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined Bachelor's-to-Master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.000 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in plastics engineering?

Founded in 1954, UMass Lowell offers the first and largest ABET-accredited Plastics Engineering program in the U.S. More than 3,000 graduates are working in the plastics industry in leadership positions worldwide.

A plastics engineering student works with machinery in a plastics recycling lab at UMass Lowell

Major plastics producers and end users recruit annually on campus. Job openings include:

  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Mold or tooling engineer
  • Product and process development engineer
  • Project engineer
  • Quality engineer
  • Sales engineer
  • Technical service and marketing